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New owner 2003 Tacoma - Rust Question

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Yamasaki, May 2, 2010.

  1. May 2, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Yamasaki [OP] Yamaha + Kawasaki!

    May 2, 2010
    Denver, CO
    2003 Tacoma Limited TRD 4x4
    Hello all

    I just picked up a 2003 Tacoma the other day for a very good price. Its the 'Limited' extended cab 4x4 with a manual transmission. Has 110k miles. Drives great and everything works just fine. In fact I just drove the thing 1700 miles to get it back to Denver.

    Anyway I am aware of the Tacoma rust issues that extend up to 2004. This little beauty actually has a decent amount of frame rust along with a faulty parking brake (the reason I got it cheap). Vehicle spent most of its life in Vermont (rough winters/salt). The body itself is in excellent condition. Paint is beautiful and I see no rust on the body itself (wheel wells/inside of doors/etc...)

    So here is my question: I plan on taking the truck to Toyota to have the frame checked out. If it fails, is Toyota going to give me a hard time because I have only owned the vehicle for a such a short period? If the frame is bad, I would just like it to be replaced and keep the truck since its in such good shape otherwise. Is length of ownership a factor when replacing the frame (as opposed to buying back, which I'm not even sure they do anymore). Does anyone have a link to the bulletin which addresses 2001-2004 Tacoma rust issues?

    If the truck does not fail, I would like to address the rust issue myself. I would need to sand the surface rust off and then apply some sort of undercoating. Does anyone have any links to a site where someone has done this or have any recomendations as to how to remove the rust. There is some minor surface rust on the rear differential which I would address the same way.

    I did search quite a bit before I posted but there are hundreds of rust topics and none quite fit my questions.

  2. May 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    JohnDavid Active Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Martinsburg, WV
    02 Tacoma TRD
    100% Stock
    Congrats on the new truck!! If you have never owned a Tacoma before, you will probably be a very happy camper with your purchase. These trucks will run forever! As for your question on the rust....length of ownership is not a factor. The dealership will determine, according to VIN and frame inspection, if your frame is to be replaced or sprayed with an undercoating. Toyota only bought back 95.5-2000 year models. Some people have stated that the buy back was extended to 2001, but that didnt affect me (2002) and wont affect you. The buy back had something to do with the manufacturer of the frame for those stopped making it, and the manufacturer of the 01-04 frames still make them? That's just what I have gathered from my research. My advice...take your truck to a dealership and have them take a look at it. If the dealership you go to doesnt seem to know anything about the rust issues or act shady, go to another dealership. I had to go through a couple shady dealerships before I found one that actually new what they were doing. I hope this helps a little! Good luck with the process, congrats on the new truck, and keep us posted!!

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